• The Seafood Restuarant – Rick Stein’s
  • Kota Restaurant
  • Nancarrow Farm

Cornish Cravings: A Tasty Trek for Foodie Explorers!

Cornwall is becoming known as a real foodie’s destination. As well as world-class restaurants, Cornwall is a great place for a self-catering holiday, as there are so many great local food shops and farmers markets to explore. You can even come to Cornwall to join a specialist cooking course!

If you love food, read on to find out more about Cornwall’s culinary scene.

The best places to eat out in Cornwall

Narrowing down our favourite Cornish restaurants was no easy task! Here are the six we finally settled on – but honestly, there are just so many top dining spots in Cornwall.

The Loft, St Ives

The Loft is a relaxed first-floor restaurant, located in the charming house-jumble of the old artists’ quarter. If you can, book a table in the covered terrace, which has rooftop views across to the bay and welcomes four-pawed diners. The menu uses seasonal local produce and changes regularly and look out for special events such as wine tasting evenings.

Trevaskis Farm, Hayle

If you like a good hearty meal, there’s nowhere like Trevaskis Farm. Their plates of traditional home-cooked food are designed to fill your boots after a day’s work in the fields, so you may need to make a second trip here to do justice to their legendary cake selection. What’s more, a lot of the food served in the restaurant is grown and reared on site – as the farm shop explains, Trevaskis doesn’t do food miles, it does “food yards”.

Talay Thai Kitchen, St Ives

Authentic Thai food, crafted from seasonal Cornish ingredients, served overlooking St Ives harbour: Talay Thai Kitchen really does tick a lot of boxes. Add to that the lively atmosphere and friendly service (and cocktails…) and you’ll have a fantastic evening out. However, if you’re fancying a cosy night in, relaxing in your St Ives holiday cottage, Talay also offers a takeaway service.

Rick Stein’s restaurants, Padstow

There’s a wonderful choice of Rick Stein restaurants in Padstow. Book a table in the original Seafood Restaurant for a special occasion or try St Petroc’s Bistro for classic French dining. Rick Stein’s Cafe in town is a relaxed spot for family lunch, or head out of town for excellent pub grub at The Cornish Arms (St Merryn). On a budget? The Stein chippie in Padstow is fantastic. Best eaten perched by the harbour, with a wooden fork and lots of vinegar.

Kota Restaurant, Porthleven

Porthleven now rivals Padstow and St Ives as a foodie destination. If we had to pick just one place here (not easy), we’d go for Kota Restaurant. Chef Jude Kereama (who you might recognise from BBC’s The Great British Menu) draws from his Moari and Chinese Malay heritage to create astonishingly lovely dishes from Cornish ingredients.The harbourside restaurant has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and it’s our choice for a laid-back meal with friends.

Nancarrow Farm

When you’re on your Cornwall holiday, try to catch a feast night at Nancarrow Farm. This working farm near Truro runs a programme of feasts and gatherings. Sit at a long table in the beautiful old barn, tucking into multiple courses of Nancarrow produce while enjoying the congenial company of fellow foodies.

Cornish cookery schools 

While we all enjoy dining out, the true foodie wants to feel the heat of the kitchen. While you’re in Cornwall, take the opportunity to literally get your hands on our fantastic local produce by booking onto a cookery course.

Philleigh Way Cookery School outside Truro is a fantastic place to brush up on your culinary skills. By the time you’ve crossed the Fal River on King Harry ferry, you’re already in a different world, one of lush farmlands and forage-ready woods. Philleigh Way offers short courses, day courses and evening dining experiences. From family wood-fired pizza days to sophisticated seafood sessions, there’s a class for every palate and skill level.

You can also book onto a course at Rick Stein’s Cookery School in Padstow. Choose from day-long and half-day classes and you can also treat your party to a private cookery course or bespoke dining experience.

For a different approach to cooking, sign up for a foraging day with Fat Hen, a wild cookery school in St Buryan. Explore the “edible landscape” of West Cornwall, searching for wild ingredients that you’ll then cook with the Fat Hen’s chefs. There is nothing like cooking then eating food that you have found yourself. The school’s wonderful name, by the way, comes from a spinach-type plant that thrives in the wild.

Self-catering in Cornwall: where to shop

The true foodie won’t want to waste the kitchen in their holiday cottage! Cornwall is well-served for the usual supermarkets; however, to really enjoy local produce, search out the farm shops and farmers’ markets.

If you’re staying in Hayle, St Ives or Penzance, the farm shop at Trevaskis is an excellent place to stock up and the pick-your-own sections add a dash of family-friendly fun to your shopping trip. We’ve already mentioned the restaurant at Trevaskis: call in for a restorative cream tea before heading home. 

Richards Farm Shop is another good option and is just down the road from Trevaskis. Splattenridden is a newer farm shop, between St Ives and Lelant. It’s small, but very well stocked, including produce from their own farm. When you’re visiting Eden or Heligan, call into Lobbs Farm Shop near St Austell, which sells a huge range of local goodies.

What about farmers’ markets in West Cornwall? There’s a market in St Ives Guildhall every Thursday morning, which is a great place to sample Cornish food before stocking up the kitchen. Lemon Quay in Truro hosts a farmers’ market twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday) and if you can, catch the popular local markets at Pendeen and Helston.

Cornwall holiday cottages with fabulous kitchens

You’ll enjoy rustling up a Cornish feast in our Cornwall holiday cottages. Fully equipped kitchens and sociable dining areas make eating in our self-catering cottages lots of fun. And this being Cornwall, you’re never too far from a fantastic restaurant either.

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